(25) Indiana State (8-5) at (8) Chattanooga (9-3) (ET)

FACTS & STATS: Site: Finley Stadium (20,668) – Chattanooga, Tennessee. Surface:
FieldTurf. Television: ESPN3.com. Announcers: Ryan Rose, Rocky Boiman. Home
Record: Indiana State 4-2, Chattanooga 4-1. Road Record: Indiana State 4-3;
Chattanooga 5-2. Conference: Indiana State – Missouri Valley; Chattanooga –
Southern. Series Record: First meeting. Nicknames: Indiana State Sycamores;
Chattanooga Mocs. FCS Playoff Seeds: Indiana State (not ranked); Chattanooga
(8th). Head Coaches: Indiana State – Mike Sanford (2nd season at Indiana State,
9-16; 7th season overall, 25-59); Chattanooga – Russ Huesman (6th season, 40-28
at Chattanooga and overall). Playoff Records: Indiana State (2-2); Chattanooga
(0-1). Previous FCS Playoff Appearances: Indiana State 2 (1983-84); Chattanooga
1 (1984). Playoff Streak: Indiana State has lost two its last three FCS playoff
games; Chattanooga lost its only FCS playoff appearance.

GAME NOTES: This is a first-ever matchup between these two programs.
Ironically, both teams are appearing in the playoffs for the first time since
the 1984 season. Indiana State got a jump-start on Chattanooga last Saturday
as it scored the final 36 points of a 36-16 first-round win at Eastern
Kentucky.

Chattanooga quarterback Jacob Huesman leads the FCS in completion percentage
(68.0) and has thrown only two interceptions against FCS competition, but he
also is at the front of the consistent running game (204.8 ypg) that Indiana
State has lacked this season. Huesman (763 yards, 10 touchdowns) likes to keep
the ball and run with it and he can hand off to Keon Williams (891 yards, 13
TDs). They should give the Southern Conference champions an advantage if the
forecasted rain falls during the game.

Chattanooga has the consistent running game (204.8 ypg) that the Sycamores
have lacked this season. Mocs quarterback Jacob Huesman (763 yards, 10
touchdowns) likes to keep the ball and run with it, but he also can hand off
to Keon Williams (891 yards, 13 TDs). That should give the Southern Conference
champions an advantage if the forecasted rain falls during the game.

Indiana State, one of five Missouri Valley Football Conference teams in the
round of 16, relies on record-setting quarterback Mike Perish to move the ball
up the field. He carved up Eastern Kentucky with 41 completions for 407 yards
and three touchdowns, and he did so by spreading the ball around to different
receivers. Perish was only sacked once and had 57 pass attempts.

There may be some sacks on Saturday, however. Two of the nation’s premier pass
rushers will be on display – Indiana State outside linebacker Connor Underwood
(ISU-record 28.5 career sacks) and Chattanooga defensive end Davis Tull
(SoCon-record 37 career sacks). The two are Buck Buchanan Award finalists.

Despite a 60-40 pass-to-run ratio, Indiana State can give a ball a little more
to running back Buck Logan (776 yards, seven TDs) if the weather dictates it.
And it might not be a bad idea considering the Sycamores start five 300-
pounders on the offensive line, including 6-foot-8, 380-pound right guard Zach
Borens.

Chattanooga will combat Perish with a young, but talented secondary.
Cornerback Dee Virgin and safety Cedric Nettles, a pair of sophomores, and
freshman cornerback Lucas Webb made either the All-SoCon coaches or media
first team. The Mocs limited opponents to 57 percent passing and 147.2 passing
yards per game.

The winner will advance to play either Fordham or No. 1 seed New Hampshire in
the national quarterfinals.

PREDICTION: Indiana State has compiled an impressive list of road wins this
season, but Chattanooga has pointed toward a return to the playoffs for a long
time. The Mocs won’t disappoint the home crowd. Chattanooga, 28-26.